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Death of Legendary footballer, Larry Stanley


Adieu to Kildare giant of sport

The legendary figure of Kildare football and Olympic athlete, Larry Stanley died on Saturday in St. Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin, after a short illness.

In his eighties he was a giant in every sense of the word:  Standing at over 6 feet, he ranked with all time GAA greats like Christy Ring and Mick Mackey.

He captained Kildare (represented by Caragh) to win the 1919 All-Ireland, the team having won the All-Ireland the previous year under the Captaincy of Mick Buckley.  Stanley was known as a centre-half forward and was again in Croke Park for the All-Ireland of 1926 when Kildare lost to Kerry.  He just missed the team’s All-Ireland wins in the two following years, his career having then come to an end, along indeed with Kildare’s All-Ireland winning career.

In recent years he was recipient of the Kildare GAA hall of Fame award.  He was also a famous high jumper and defeated the Olympic gold medal winner, Harold Osborne in the Tailteann Games.  In 1924 he was on the Irish team which first took part in the Olympic Games.  He was also an outstanding long jumper.

Although he had been living with his family in Rathmines for many years, Larry loved to return to his native Kildare where the years did not diminish the adulation of his fans at any function he attended.  Always affable and approachable, he loved to recount the memories of his glittering career.  He once described to this writer how he would regularly walk from the Caragh area to athletic meetings in Dublin on the day of the meeting, and go on to acquit himself well.

Amongst Kildare GAA representatives at the interment in Bohernabreena, on Tuesday were Co. Board Chairman, Pat Dunny; Secretary-Treasurer, Seamus Aldridge; and Jim Clarke, Naas (nephew).  Paddy Heavy, PRO, represented Clongorey GFC which had a long and happy association with Larry Stanley.

Also there was Larry’s friend of many years, Mr. Patsy Campbell (95) of Caragh.  During the Requiem Mass, Rev. Colm Stanley recalled anecdotes from the past.

Leinster Leader report in 1987 on the death of legendary footballer and Olympian, Larry Stanley. 

[typed and edited by Mary O'Hara]

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